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Why You Shouldn’t Think Tactics until You have the Right Strategy

It’s a common pitfall in content marketing: starting with tactics before having a solid strategy. Everyone has been guilty of jumping onto the next content marketing trend without considering its purpose and place within your overall marketing plan. As we’ve said before, your content strategy is like a road map (plan) that tells you your destination (outcome), not the number of gas stations (tactics) you have to stop at along the way.

When considering what tactics to deploy in getting your message across, building a macro strategy, and micro strategies within it, is essential. The macro is your high-level content strategy as a whole. Our Marketing Communications Lead Lauren goes back to her editor’s training for forming these: Audience, Purpose, Occasion. Your strategy should take into consideration the needs of its audience. Each piece should have a clearly stated purpose or outcome. The occasion is both the environment in which your audience receives your content, and when they receive it (e.g. are you launching during the holidays?). All of these factors need to be considered at length when formulating your strategy. They’ll help you focus on the ideal tactics for delivering your content.

The micro strategies are your plans for each individual tactic. It’s not enough to have decided on a video series, blog posts, and Twitter campaign for your next product launch: those tactics all need a mini-strategy on how to maximize their reach and effectiveness. Bring back the Audience, Purpose, and Occasion model and interrogate each tactic on how they’ll reach your audience and how they’ll be received by them, as well as what you’d like the audience to do after receiving that content.

Formulating a strategy can be tough, so here are six “Dos” to set you on the right path:

  • • Assign ownership of the plan to a single project manager;
  • • Have a budget and timeline in mind, as well as critical milestones;
  • • Involve members of different company teams or departments;
  • • Hire external consultants for a fresh perspective;
  • • Assess existing content streams for fit; and
  • • Plan for measuring results.

 

Building a content strategy is an investment, but the dividends it pays are cohesive content, more audience engagement, and better returns on your hard work.

 

Need help with your content or tactical strategy? Consult with our experts.

 

Photo by timJ on Unsplash.

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